(Source: ATR consortium; issued Nov. 3, 2005) TOULOUSE, France --- Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) inked an agreement with ATR for the purchase of seven new ATR 42-500 aircraft on November 2, 2005 at PIA Head Office. The agreement was signed by Mr Tariq Kirmani, Chairman and CEO of PIA and Mr Filippo Bagnato, CEO of ATR in the presence of the General Consuls of France and Italy.
The aircraft will replace PIA’s aging F-27 aircraft fleet operated on socio-economic routes. The 7 firm 48-seat ATR 42-500 aircraft are scheduled to be delivered between 2006 and 2007 with delivery of the first aircraft to PIA in May 2006.
The total value of the contract is approximately US $100 million.
At this auspicious occasion, Mr Tariq Kirmani said that “PIA carried out an in-depth evaluation of all aircraft available in this turboprop aircraft category. Demo flights were also conducted during the evaluation, the aircraft were gauged on various performance attributes for instance, passenger appeal and comfort, aircraft maintainability, operational durability and economics. PIA selected ATR 42-500 aircraft as it best suited these parameters".
Mr Filippo Bagnato stated: “PIA is the second new customer to choose our aircraft this year. Once again, this commercial success is evidence of the strong resurgence of the turboprop aircraft in the regional aviation market. I’m very proud of the decision in favour of ATR. The ATR 42-500 offers a combination of exceptional overall performance and comfort unmatched in its class. The ATR 42-500 has outstanding performance when operating from hot-and-high & short runways, while maintaining the operating economics and reliability. This 48 seater aircraft has a specially designed low noise cabin interior providing maximum comfort to the passengers”.
The purchase transaction of seven turboprop aircraft from ATR shall further strengthen Pakistan’s economic ties with France and Italy in particular and with Europe in general for years to come.
Since the beginning of the programme, ATR has sold 758 aircraft (398 ATR 42s and 360 ATR 72s). Since January 1st, 2005, ATR has sold 70 new aircraft including the 7 ATR 42-500 to PIA. ATR 42-500 aircraft are operated by several airlines around the globe substantiating its position as market leader among other turboprop aircraft.
Founded in 1955, Karachi-based PIA operates 66 destinations (42 international and 24 domestic). With over 19,000 employees, the airline operates a total fleet of 39 aircraft, 9 of which are regional aircraft.
Toulouse, Southern France-based regional aircraft manufacturer Avions de Transport Régional (ATR) is the world leader in the 50 to 70-seat turboprop market. ATR is an equal partnership between Alenia Aeronautica (Finmeccanica group) and EADS.